Tasting wines are confirmed in advance of the tasting, with customers able to purchase the wines in-store, as well as via pre-paid collection, or for delivery, ahead of the tasting. The tastings last 45-60 minutes and are free to join.
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Mature Reds for Winter
Thursday 26th November, 8pm
We are pushing the boat out this week with three fine wines that showcase the mature flavour of aged wine. These are not shrinking violets but robust wines for the heathside, preferably with a hearty dish like a beouf en daube or a cassoulet simmering gently somewhere nearby. The reserve Rioja of Pecina is everything these classical barrel-aged wines based on tempranillo should be with notes of tomato leaf, sweet tobacco, and cherry. Dark, brooding and distinctly mineral, the powerful aglianico grape of Campania has the stature of the noble savage: regal but untamed. We finish with the showstopping Vieille Julienne 2008, a profound wine with decadent layers of flavour.
Senorio de Pecina Reserva 2013 Rioja, Spain - £22.90
Molettieri Irpinia Aglianico Cinque Querce 2012 Campania, Italy - £19.90
Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2008, France - £35.00
Thursday 3rd December, 8pm
One of the great grapes for winter, grenache, both red and white, loves hot weather and brings Provencal flavours of the sultry south straight to your glass. Starting on the border with Spain in Roussillon we put the spotlight on the less well-known white grenache with its broad shoulders, mineral intensity and textural richness before digging into the reds. Here our tasting goes to the heartland of Grenache in the southern Rhone with an exceptional Cotes-du-Rhone Villages from one of our favourite producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, before taking wing to the rugged vineyards of Swartland where David and Nadia Sadie are harnessing old vines to produce some of South Africa's most impressive wines.
Kaya Blanc, Domaine de Soulanes 2019, Côtes Catalanes, France - £19.30
Esprit Devin 2015 Côtes-du Rhône Villages, Galévan, France - £18.40
Elpidios, David and Nadia 2014, Swartland, South Africa - £26.00
The Case of the Christmas Pudding
Thursday 10th December, 8pm
This week's tasting is a gastronomic treat for wine lovers and chefs alike, as some of our sweeter wines take their place on the tasting table. Samos Nectar derives its sweetness from the ancient technique of sun drying grapes before a long ageing that delivers flavours of raisin and sultana and a tawny nuttiness that marries brilliantly with the dried fruits of traditional Christmas puds. Another excellent combination that serves equally well for after-dinner sipping is Barbeito's Boal, which brings the house's signature freshness and elegance to the island's classic fortified sweet wine. And if it is blue cheese or a wickedly chocolatey Buche de Noel that you are craving, look no further than Churchill's heady LBV with its combination of cassis and cedar. Pure indulgence!
Samos Nectar 2011, Greece (50cl) - £24.00
Barbeito Boal Reserva NV, Madeira (50cl) - £15.50
Churchills LBV 2015, Port - £23.80
Merry and Bright: The Three Kings
Thursday 17th December, 8pm
We sign off our 2020 tastings with a celebration, featuring three special fine wines from our Christmas offer. Paper crowns at the ready for our new champagne, Philipponnat, with its signature backbone of pinot noir, not to mention a deliciously decadent chardonnay from Xavier Guillaume that will blow the socks off Burgundy nuts, and a wonderfully mellow, mature Barolo to gladden the heart. We hope you will join us for a cheering glass, a convivial laugh and maybe a mince pie.
Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut NV, Champagne - £42.00
Guillaume Chardonnay Collection Reservé 2015, Franche-Comté - £32.20
Porta Rossa Barolo Bricco Ambrogio 1995, Piedmont, Italy - £37.00
All wines on this tasting are featured in the Christmas offer and attract 15% discount when bought as part of a mixed case.